Amid the ongoing rift between India and Pakistan following the scrapping of Article 70, two top Democratic lawmakers have urged Pakistan to refrain from any ‘retaliatory aggression’ against India and take “demonstrable action” against terrorist groups within its territory.
Pakistan on Wednesday expelled Indian High Commissioner Ajay Bisaria and downgraded diplomatic ties with India over what it called New Delhi’s “unilateral and illegal” move to revoke the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.
Senator Robert Menendez and Congressman Eliot Engel of the House Foreign Affairs Committee in a joint statement on Wednesday also expressed concern over what they called restrictions in Jammu and Kashmir.
Robert Menendez is a ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, while Eliot Engel is the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
— House Foreign Affairs Committee (@HouseForeign) August 7, 2019
“Pakistan must refrain from any retaliatory aggression, including support for infiltrations across the Line of Control, and take demonstrable action against the terrorist infrastructure on Pakistan’s soil,” they said in the statement.
The lawmakers said that “as the world’s largest democracy, India has an opportunity to demonstrate for all its citizens the importance of protecting and promoting equal rights, including freedom of assembly, access to information, and equal protection under the law.”
“Transparency and political participation are the cornerstones of representative democracies, and we hope the Indian government will abide by these principles in Jammu and Kashmir,” they said.
Parliament on Tuesday approved a resolution abrogating special status to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Constitution and a bill for splitting the state into two Union Territories – Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.
India maintains the Jammu and Kashmir issue is strictly internal.
(With agencies input)